To Be As Safe As Possible, Self-Driving Cars Will Be Programmed To Kill

Would you buy a self-driving car that could be programmed to ‘sacrifice’ the driver?

Every week, we’re privy to newer and newer stories that suggest the age of autonomous or “self-driving” cars is nearing. With the promise of leisurely riding to and from work also comes the expectation that putting cameras, computers, and machines in charge will make the roads safer.

And it undoubtedly will.

But as we near the reality of self-driving cars, we’re also reminded that machines are cold and calculating. Their decisions will not be based on emotion, but on preprogrammed logic. So now ethicists, engineers, programmers, consumers, and lawmakers are all faced with the question of “What happens when harm is inevitable in a crash?” Who does the car decide to save?

There have been countless scenarios presented that explain the conundrum, but most exist as some derivation of “a car is speeding out of control on a mountain road as children cross the street. The car must decide whether it is to continue into the pedestrians, likely killing several, or veer off a cliff, ensuring the death of the driver.”

It’s known colloquially as the “trolley problem.”

It’s not a very fun scenario to imagine, but when we put our lives in the hands of computers, such scenarios are what dictate the relationship between man and machine.

It’s a funny notion to think of someone handing over money to buy an “improved” self-driving car which also could decide to kill you, but the utilitarian approach dictates this would be the case. You would still be far safer in daily driving at the mercy of a machine, but people ARE thinking about this.

In order to get ahead of the discussion and controversy, Mercedes has already gone on record saying that its cars will protect passengers, not bystanders. Good news for Mercedes owners, but if you happen to be crossing the street while an autonomous Benz is heading your way, you might want to hurry to the other side, just in case.

No matter which way the public and programmers lean, it’s inevitable that cars will make a decision to kill someone. Just who that someone is remains to be seen.

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

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She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

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Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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